What increases my risk of AML?

Blood cells

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The cause of AML is unknown. But there are certain things called risk factors that can increase your chance of developing the disease. These include:          

  • Age: AML happens mostly in people aged over 65.
  • Smoking: Chemicals in cigarettes can increase your risk.
  • Gender: AML is more common in men than women.
  • Exposure to radiation: This includes exposure to high doses of radiation in industry or nuclear accidents or to previous radiotherapy.
  • Exposure to gases and chemicals: These include radon gas, certain pesticides, benzene and other chemicals found in industry.
  • Previous cancer treatment: Previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Genetic disorders: For example, Down syndrome.
  • Blood disorders: This includes Fanconi anaemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative disorders.

Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will definitely get cancer. Sometimes people with no risk factors get the disease.

If you’re worried, talk to your GP or talk to one of our cancer nurses. Call the Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 or visit a Daffodil Centre

Reducing your risk of AML

  • Stop smoking
  • Protect yourself from radon and pollutants

Read more about these and other cancer risk-reduction tips

For more information

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1800 200 700

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